A little over two weeks ago I was having a typical day. I was running errands and going in multiple directions. I try to be a regular blood donor and had made an appointment – half out of good intentions and half swayed by the incentive of an Amazon gift card. So I showed up and gave my 74th pint to the American Red Cross. If you haven’t donated blood it may sound gross or scary, but it really is quite easy and painless. And when you finish they encourage you to “visit the canteen” for some juice, water, and a snack.
At this point, I was one week into trying to lose a few pounds with Weight Watchers. So I bypassed the cookies that looked really appealing. Raisins seemed like a good choice, to be sure I looked them up on the crazy cool Weight Watcher app to see how many points they were. Grapes are zero points, so I was thinking raisins were going to be freebies too. When I saw one-quarter cup was 6 points I opted for water. We were going out later that night and I planned to indulge in a meal that involved some greasy goodness.
After a quick drink of water, I was off and running again. A couple of errands later I was at home with just enough time to take a quick shower and get ready for the evening. While washing my hair I began to feel light headed. My first thought was that I should’ve drunk more water. But things were getting foggy fast and I realized I needed to get out of the shower.
Moments later when I came to with my face resting upon the tub spigot I was completely freaked out at the realization that I’d actually passed out. That out of control feeling continued as I struggled to stay upright long enough to get out of the shower to dry ground. After some time laying on the bathroom floor I regrouped enough to eat some peanuts and drink some water. The rest of the night was uneventful. Other than a sore nose I was feeling grateful to not have really hurt myself.
A few days later I was tired and feeling a little spacey. Passing headaches. Bouts of feeling light headed. The lights and colors of the grocery store felt overwhelming. I found it hard to concentrate at a meeting. I couldn’t shake the feeling of not feeling myself. It really scared me. I began to wonder if the fall bonk on the head caused this or if something else caused the fall. So I made an appointment with a doctor I trusted to see what was going on. I had to wait a week to see her.
In those seven days, despite my physical symptoms improving my fears were irrational. Last fall I’d gone in for a yearly check-up, complete with a blood draw and it hadn’t occurred to me until now that I’d never gotten the results. The demons in my head were certain that someone from the lab had forgotten to call with bad news.
I was mad at myself. I kept wondering “where is my faith?” A good friend of mine had a serious health scare a while back and I was so inspired by her steadfast faith that God had a plan and would see her through it, regardless of what it was. I felt like I was hanging by a thread and she had been so strong. The logical part of my brain was playing tricks on me and my faith was lagging. I was disappointed in myself.
My appointment was yesterday and in search of peace of mind blood was drawn and an EKG performed. The results were normal. The diagnosis was a mild concussion. I’m reminded how incredibly valuable good health is. I’m reminded how dumb it is to not take care of yourself. And of course I’m reminded how good God is. I’m not only grateful for my health, but God’s not so subtle reminder to slow down.
I share all of this to offer you some advice: eat the damn raisins.
Ironically, I had just asked some of my favorite ladies to do Shauna Neiquist’s Present Over Perfect 5-week study with me. It is based on her book Present Over Perfect. This video and guided discussion series are intended to help replace frantic with calm. Apparently, something I need some work on. If this is something you struggle with too and you’d like to follow along on our journey we will be starting in mid-March.
It is important to note that this was no fault of Weight Watchers, it is a great program that encourages healthier eating. Likewise, the American Red Cross was not to blame for my not taking care of myself. One pint donated can save the lives of three people and it is typically quick and painless, so please don’t let this deter you.
Let my experience serve as a reminder to keep your priorities straight.
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